Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2019


Avoiding a particular species temporally can be an effective way to live amongst predator and competing species when spatial avoidance is not available. If a predator and prey species overlap temporally there is potential for high predation of the prey species by the predator, while if two predators overlap temporally there is high potential for competition and a loss of opportunities and resources for each species. I assessed if native mammalian species on a natural prairie landscape showed signs of avoidance through their activity patterns. I used photographic sampling to quantify the temporal activity patterns of species at Spring Creek Prairie. The activity of the predator species Canis latrans, and two possible prey species Sylvilagus floridanus, and Procyon lotor did not have similar activity patterns. Procyon lotor is also a possible competing species with Canis latrans. The activity pattern of Canis latrans, and Odocoileus virginianus had similar activity patterns, while Procyon lotror, and Sylvilagus floridanus also had similar activity patterns with each other. My results suggest that the activity of the top predator in this prairie landscape affects the activity of 2 smaller-bodied prey species but not the larger-bodied prey species. At the same time a meso-predator’s activity did not affect a prey species’ activity. It also suggests that there may be avoidance due to competition in some instances. This allows us to understand where we will expect native mammalian species in relation to each other temporally at Spring Creek Prairie.